Poor pay breeds poor quality journalism in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda – Report

newspapersThe low pay package of journalists in Nigeria, Ghana and  Uganda plus lack of freedom of  information laws have been identified as major obstacles impeding journalists’ profession in these countries, a survey by students of Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs has revealed. Other challenges confronting journalism practitioners in these three countries surveyed, according to the survey carried out in partnership with Revenue Watch International, include access to information from both government and business sources, pressure from government or business, lack of technology and skills.

The survey which was carried out late last year was intended to provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities in the profession in these countries. It especially seeks to shed light on the question of whether programmes that train journalists can improve reporting, especially on the extractive industries, and if so, what kind of training is most effective.

The report also intends to serve as a guide for organisations considering to establish journalists with training programmes in Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda. It however warned that generalisations across countries are difficult. Thus, it encouraged anyone making use of this report for programme planning to consider the findings on each country as a “distinct entity,” the report stated.

It noted that journalism covering the extractive industries – including oil, mining and gas – is of particular interest to anyone who believes that transparency in governance, business and politics is an important aspect of development in Africa.

The report maintained that in Africa, more than any other continent, the extractive industries seem to be consistently tied to inequality, strife and underdevelopment. African countries’ unique problems, it insisted, point to their common history as colonised lands.

It is an assumption of this report’s authors that a thriving journalism profession can be an important part of improving this situation. Good journalism – and active media consumers – will help citizens be better informed about the relationship between extractive industries, government and the broader economy. Journalists, it added, can reveal revenue flows and decision-making processes that affect entire countries. With this knowledge, citizens can play more active roles in their countries’ destinies and make their resources a blessing rather than a curse.

The report further examines the experiences, opinions and recommendations of nearly 100 professional journalists, academics and media experts in Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda. Its interviews focused on painting a fuller picture of the media landscape, challenges journalists face and lessons learnt from past trainings in each country.

Recommending that training in Nigeria should focus on utilising a diverse range of techniques, including lectures, workshops, field assignments, field trips and two-way discussions, the report nonetheless reveals that 87.5 percent of respondents reported that seminars are “very effective.”

“Those doing the training should primarily be people who have worked as journalists,” it advocated, but lamented that far too often, the trainings done in Nigeria, particularly those by the CBN and the Stock Exchange, are done by people who have no journalism background.

Concluding, it observed that the countries examined have some things in common. Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda it noted are all English-speaking African countries whose extractive industries form an important part of their respective economies.

Source: BusinessDay

No Comments
  1. Dennis Mwasalanga says

    I personally blame the African journalists for the reporting in Africa is external oriented, from style of coverage to tones and manner, we are not innovative, we copy too much, we plagiarise even the style of speaking? that is too much….that is injustice….can’t we be original? English-speaking African countries whose extractive industries form an important part of their respective economies they only report to serve some people’s interests. African journalists should write to meet the demand their people first and then for the world at large… we are in globalisation and we love it! but we have to be wary of forgeting our traditions. we do not develop because we ignore our traditions.

  2. AZU A. DANIEL iIBMS says

    due to this there has not been fair judgment OR NEWS ITEM PRODUCE DOES NOT BRING FACT BUT OPINION

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.